London-based artist Oscar Murillo’s practice encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, video and performance in which he translates various aspects of everyday life and quotidian experiences into matter and then form.
Harvesting the accumulative material conditions of his studio on canvases, fabrics and paper, and mobilising the physical remnants of distinct social situations, he exposes some of the contradictions and complexities apparent across socioeconomic, racial and cultural boundaries. Gestural marks that index artistic labour are layered with dirt, dust and debris, used as materials in their own right, but equally as evidence of the often-invisible tasks and efforts of others which underpin the social and physical fabric of different locales and circumstances.
For his South London Gallery exhibition, Murillo transforms the main gallery space into a studio-like environment incorporating a new group of stitched, painted canvases, shown alongside floor-based pieces made from hundreds of drawings in biro on paper, which he made over the past year and then left to gather dust before pulping them to make densely textured works which defy obvious categorisation. Low-tech films shown on iMac monitors give an insight into some of the contexts informing the work in the show, while marked copper sheets from previous exhibitions demonstrate various ways in which the passing of time can be documented and archived through materials and discarded matter.
An active component at the heart of the exhibition is a lottery that references the popularity of this phenomenon in many cultures. Murillo instigates a situation that highlights some of the intricacies of social and cultural encounters, as he has done in previous exhibitions and events, but this lottery project takes this area of his practice into new territory, raising numerous questions about authenticity, value, and the complex relationship between the public, private and commercial sectors of the art world.
The lottery project begins on Monday 2 September when individually screen-printed lottery tickets, each bearing a different number, will be available to purchase. As tickets are sold, each of them, and their corresponding artist’s proof, are inscribed with the purchaser’s name by a calligrapher before being displayed in the SLG’s first floor galleries throughout the exhibition period. A first, second and third prize, each devised by Oscar Murillo, will be revealed at the prize draw on Friday 18 October, during the week of Frieze Art Fair in London.
The exhibition is supported by Vicky Hughes and John Smith, and Raimund Berthold at Berthold and Paul Ettlinger.